Thursday, December 27, 2007

Benazir Bhutto - A Visionary against the odds

I never realized I had inadvertently admired this phenomenal woman, a woman of substance, Benazir Bhutto, subtly wanting her to win the looming elections again in Pakistan. Having achieved what is seemingly impossible - a leadership in the extremely male-chauvinistic and now-fanatical Pakistan, she was not only a visionary but also a revolutionary...braving the odds and having the soul to face any eventuality.
Her assassination has exposed the level of political unrest prevailing in Pakistan now. It's only at times like this, we feel the whip-lash of extremism, a pungent reminder that our world is still so full of hatred. Her paternal grand-father's roots are in Haryana, India, before the partition. So, do the brave have to sacrifice themselves for being the front-runners of revolutionary change? Or do they have to lie low for fear of the back-lash that's ever-present in non-progressive societies?
Maybe this is an ode to a woman of strength and true courage which millions of men lack in today's world to stand up for our rights. An unsung obituary...to an unsung leader.
(pic courtesy: indiaabroad)

Friday, December 21, 2007

India, Pakistan - No Borders?

Can this ever happen? Although it seems like it's wishful thinking now, I think there is a possibility of that happening maybe two or three generations down. Well, I'm not saying this outta the blue, but look at the Yahoo article as on Dec.21st, 2007.
Nine mainly ex-East bloc countries on Friday tore down their borders to join a European zone allowing 400 million people to travel from Estonia in the east to Portugal in the west without showing a passport.
"The free movement of people is one of the main rights of human beings," European Commission president Jose Manuel Barrosso said as he hailed the addition of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia to 15 other states already in the Schengen Treaty zone. Many European leaders have welcomed the pulling down of internal frontiers as a new sign of the continent overcoming its Cold War division.
When one part of the world can tear down their boundaries like this, why can't other parts of the world be like it too. And I'm not just talking about India and Pakistan here, that was just to illustrate a point. Ofcourse it comes with its own fears and insecurities, but a belief and hope is all what we need to make it happen.

Germany's GdP police union warned Thursday that the extension of the Schengen zone eastwards could unleash a crime wave. The lifting of border controls with Poland and the Czech Republic in particular was "an invitation to criminals," union chief Josef Scheuring said.
Many Austrians also fear higher crime, according to a poll released by ORF public television poll which said 75 percent of Austrians opposed the lifting of barriers.
In Warsaw, the head of the EU's border watchdog, Frontex, Ilkka Laitinen, warned that illegal immigration would be the price Europe paid for Schengen expansion.
Once people enter the zone, whether legally or otherwise, they would be free to move across all member states, he said.

Check out the response, where it's clear that people truly want to give peace, trust and understanding a chance.
Nevertheless, political leaders were eager to play down such fears.
Schengen "is not about criminality, it is not about insecurity or fear. It is a bigger zone of peace, security and stability," the Austrian chancellor said.
The expansion has taken years of preparation, with newcomers obliged to join the Schengen Information System (SIS), which provides police and customs officers with information about people, vehicles or goods.
The 15 older signatories to the treaty were: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.
Here's the full article from Yahoo: "Europe celebrates tearing down of borders"

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Fall...into your heart!

Lead by example!!

This is a very simple video of how you can be the change and do something about a situation instead of complaining and doing nothing about it. Anyone can be our teacher...so what are we waiting for??

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Documentary clip on Summer School for Designing a Society

This is the initial 3 minutes of the documentary I did on the summer school I attended at Gesundheit for the School for Designing a Society...if you need a copy of this movie please contact Rob Scott

Composing Utopia with words

Articipatory Music and other weird things by Jessica Corey-Butler
Last weekend Articipatory Music happened at the Olympia Community Free School during “A giant party for a better world,” the Love, Imagine, Network, Kindness (LINK) Symposium, an extension of “A World Beyond Capitalism,” The Third Annual International Multiracial Alliance Building Peace Conference. An activist folk music collective called Riotfolk performed and a Secret Café fund raiser was held, benefiting a residential permaculture project. And eight people created compositions, but not made out of notes and played on flutes and guitars.

Huh?

Articipatory Music was an idea originally born when it’s facilitator (and creator) Michael Gaiuranos attended a summer session with the School for Designing a Society, held on Patch Adam’s Gesundheit! Institute in West Virginia.

Initially, Gaiuranos thought he was going there to compose music with the experimental musicians associated with cybernetics.

The second time he attended the school, he recalls, “I knew I was aiming for something else.” He credits the school for “encouraging me to do weird things.”

As such, he feels his extrapolation of one exercise he had learned where participants composed responses, one inane and one an elaborate ideal, and then negotiated within larger groups.

“That was the really really really interesting part,” Gaiuranos remembers, adding, “How do you negotiate your Utopia?”

would you like to read more and more....?

Designing Freedom - Stafford Beer

This is a part of the collection of articles under the title READINGS THAT MATTER TO ME which was suggested by the School for Designing a Society.
This excerpt is from the article Designing Freedom by Stafford Beer
1. The Real Threat to “All We Hold Most Dear”
The little house where I have come to live alone for a few weeks sits on the edge of a steep hill in a quiet village on the western coast of Chile. Huge majestic waves roll into the bay and crash magnificently over the rocks, sparkling white against the green sea under a winter sun. It is for me a time of peace, a time to clear the head, a time to treasure.
For after all, such times are rare events for today’s civilized man. We spend our days boxed in
our houses, swarming in and out of office blocks like tribes of ants, crammed into trains, canned in aeroplanes, locked solid in traffic jams on the freeway. Our unbiblical concern for what we shall eat, what we shall drink, and what we shall put on is amplified and made obsessional by the pressure to consume—way, way beyond the natural need. All this is demanded by the way we have arranged our economy. And the institutions we have built to operate that economy, to safeguard ourselves, protect our homes, care for and educate our families, have all grown into large and powerful pieces of social machinery which suddenly seem not so much protective as actually threatening.
Mankind has always been in battle with his environment. But until quite recently in history his
battles were on a reasonable scale, a human scale.
For more on Designing Freedom click here.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

American "Fall"

Here's a fabulous pic of the wonder that is 'Fall' in DC, US. This was shot with our new DSLR Nikon D40X camera. Enjoy.

WINGS OF EVOLUTION - Screening at CCNY

After ages, I had an opportunity to step into a college and that too in a place where the culture, environment and people very different from what I was exposed to, almost a decade ago. Recollecting those old days of my college I went searching for the class room in the City college or New York, NYC, where our documentary film Wings of Evolution by Accessible Horizon Films was screened for the students pursuing their studies in Urban education in the U.S.

The response was very good as there were a lot of students who raised a lot a questions. Although addressing a group of people was very much new for me, handling the questions seemed to be easy because I had to explain what I did, unlike struggling to answer for curriculum based educational system.

One of the question that interested very much was "Would you make sequel for the documentary after 4 or 5 years?" I look forward to revisiting the school after few years and know how the students and the school evolved in the mean time.

Our special thanks to Carol for screening the documentary.

Related Topics

1. Documentary Film - Wings of Evolution
2. World Wide Postcard Sharing - Connecting the kids together all over the world
3. Siragu Montessori School - A School for underprivileged and homeless children in chennai

Evano Oruvan - A Tamil Indie film's Commercial viability


First of all, this is not a movie review although I'll write a little about the film itself as part of the film watching experience. Surprising and intriguing - are the words that best describe what I felt. Being an indie film fanatic myself, I couldn't bear some reactions to 'Evano Oruvan'. Context: Matinee show of the film in Pondicherry, 3rd day from release. Tons of people arrived at the almost 1000-seated theater, say about 95% of the seats had butts in them. Multiple reasons for the crowd - Sunday afternoon, Madhavan starrer, etc.
Personally, I went because the director Nishikant Kamat is a friend of mine whom I had met at Los Angeles at IFFLA when our film 'Men of Burden - Pedaling Towards a Horizon' had its world premiere in April 2006. And also because I had seen the Marathi version of the film(Dombivli Fast) which had garnered several international awards and wanted to see how the Tamil version had shaped up.
The film was pretty much the same in terms of its delivery like its Marathi version but I felt it a little lacking in the narrative and the dialogue was a little less audible with the other dominating sounds. (btw, Sangeetha's hot as hell) One of the thoughts that struck me was the reaction of the regular Tamil-movie-going population that made me think as the movie went along. For the fact that it was a break from the regular song-and-dance movie, I wanted the people to love the film because I personally believe in the power of the indie film to make one think as opposed to the factory churned movies by the Tamil/Hindi film industry. I wanted the indie filmmaker to succeed commercially, so bad. Every scene I wanted people to sit back quietly and listen to the dialogue and think, and look at the lighting and enjoy the subtleties of the scene and the composition. Those things never happened.
But most of my expectations were shattered when many in the audience were jeering at the 'monotony' of the film. People were talking on cell phones, letting their phones ring, not paying attention to the meaning of the film, some even chatting and shouting that they were gonna get out, because there were no songs and fights and 'slow-mo' intros of the hero. For a few moments, I was irritated at their indifference to such a film but what could I do, the minority that I am, in the world where people go to the movies to fulfill their escapist fantasies. So I'm still wondering what is the world that I am living in, that is, with my sensibilities as an indie filmmaker and supporter with international cinema as my study guide...I'm left thinking where is that balance between art and commercial cinema. Ahh, the cliched question.
And this, especially at a stage where I'm leaning towards commercial viability but still can't tear away from the indie scene. It's a tough road to be on.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Memory of the physical 'self'

Just the other day I got back to my Keyboard...not that I regularly play music...(though I listen to music a lot)...I was trying to play something I had composed a few months ago...I just couldn't remember the notes...so I kept trying to think of the tune...though I had vaguely caught the tune...I still couldn't play it...and..
and amazing thing happened...I closed my eyes and kept my fingers on the keyboard...expecting to just play it...and my fingers did the magic...the muscles remembered the tune...actually...how strange is the co-ordination...between the soul and the physical self...
and so does the mind remember all the tiny details of an encounter...this always puts things in place for me that there is some underlying unifying connection...
what can i say?? i am happy to be given this opportunity...of sensing this and integrating it with my perceptions...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Yali - The Mythical Protector

If you have ever been to temples in South India, you might have bumped into(even literally) this magnificent creature of Indian mythology. The Yali, the lesser known protector of the Gods and the temples that house them. Even me, in spite of my countless visits to temples since birth, have never really paid attention to this mythical creation, that adorns almost every pillar, roof and corners of the fantastical world of temple architecture - an integral part of Hindu sculptural antiquity. They say the Yali protects the temples, roaming the rock confines of darkness and light. Although they look it, they are neither the Lion nor the Elephant - a potent combination of the two, the invincible dual-soul that makes the spine of every human tremble. The eerie-ness of its appearance can itself fascinate and shake your inner soul.
Yali (pronounced yaali) Tamil: யாளி is a mythical creature seen in many Hindu temples. These are also known as Vyalam or Sarabham, in Sanskrit. Yalis are often sculpted on the pillars of Hindu temples. Yali is a mythical lion, and it has been widely used in south Indian sculpture. Description and references to yalis is very old, but its depiction in the south Indian sculpture became prominent from the 16th century. Yalis are believed to be more powerful than the lion or the elephant.
These shots of the Yali were taken at the Aayiram Kaal Mandapam(The Thousand Pillar Hall) at the Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai, which was a frontrunner in the election for the modern seven wonders of the world for its architectural importance. By the way, in spite of its significance and wondrous appearance, the Hall has not been maintained by the authorities very well. Dusty sculptures and cobwebs galore. Damn the *&%king bureaucracy (partial source - wiki).

Friday, November 16, 2007

Diwali Revisited - 12 year Hiatus

Whoa, the above is a picture of one of the first few firecrackers that I lit after a twelve-year hiatus from the festival of lights, Diwali, in Pondicherry. Even since I went to college, I was never at home to celebrate it. And every year, the memory of the festival was kinda ebbing away, until this year on Nov.9th.
One big difference that I notice over the years is that, the Pre and Post-Diwali days are pretty quiet now, compared to those days when firecrackers were heard even a month before/after the fest. Dunno what created this change. At least, it's somewhat a relief that now child labor is banned...because manufacturing fireworks in the 90s were largely done by children working in the factories. Anyway, this Diwali day, we did burst quite a number and kids from my street were all jubilant about it. After I inhaled the smoke from the firecrackers, I was transported back to those days where we used to wait without sleep to light the first Lakshmi Vedi (big fat firecracker). Man, how I wish! Sigh...
Pondicherry has changed a lot. Well, more on that later.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Nature of Time - HUMBERTO MATURANA

HUMBERTO MATURANA
Excerpts from Readings that matter to me shared by The School for Designing a Society
Living

Living takes place in the now, in the moment in which it is taking place. Living is a dynamics that disappears as it takes place. Living takes place in no time, without past or future. Past, present and future are notions that we human beings, we observers, invent as we explain our ocurrence in the now. We invent past as a source of the now or present, and we invent future as a dimension that arises as an extrapolation of the features of our living now, in the present. As past, present and future, are invented to explain our living now, time is invented as a background in which past, present and future can take place. But life, living, takes place as now, as a flow of changing processes. To say this, of course, is a manner of explaining the experience being now in which we find ourselves as we ask for the explanation of our living, of time, . . .
Language
I have maintained, and I think shown, in other publications, that language is a manner of flowing in living together in recursive consensual coordinations of behavior, and that languaging consists in operating in a network of consensual coordinations of consensual coordinations of behaviors, in a relational dynamics of consensual coordinations of behaviors that is constitutively open to endless recursions1. Moreover, we are, as living systems, structure determined systems, and nothing external to us can determine or specify what happens in us. So, the external agents that at any instant impinge upon us can only trigger in us structural changes determined in us by our structure at that instant. As a result, all that we do at any instant arises in us determined in us by our structure in that instant, either as a result of our closed internal structural dynamics, or as a result of the modulation of that internal structural dynamics by the structural changes triggered in us by the interactions in which we participate. In these circumstances, we would have to say that we are constitutively ”blind” to the intrinsic features of the medium as an independent reality , if to speak about the intrinsic features of an independent reality had any sense.
This situation has the following basic consequences for understanding what we do and for more click here

Monday, November 12, 2007

WINGS OF EVOLUTION in City University NY

Hey everybody...we will be having two consecutive screenings of WINGS OF EVOLUTION, one on Dec 5th (Wednesday) and one on 6th (Thursday) in one of the classes of the City University of New York...and this is through a friend of mine Carol Huang who teaches there (the screenings will be in her class and we will have a Q&A session after that)...this week with Carol's help, we will be visiting one of the directors of the Asian American/Asian Research Institute to request for another screening of Wings of Evolution...
We need to spread the word so that humans all over the world are somehow inspired to take children off the streets and care for them and give them the education they deserve!
Let us unite the children of the World!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Shadow of a soul...Bella Dizhur

I recently got the book of collected poems by Bella Dizhur from STRAND.
The intense words immediately drew me into the poet's world!
How many humans have to struggle to make their voices heard?
Some of them do succeed... while a vast number of them are pushed to the obscurity by the cruel winds of humans' prejudiced judgments...or...you-know-what...
Well, the introduction was given by Vasily Aksyonov...
Bella Dizhur for many years, a member of the Sverdlovsk branch of the USSR's Writer's Union, and she published several collections of Poems. From the outside, all of this appears to be an absolutely normal. privileged, professional literary life. But actually, and i know this from personal experience, this life consisted of a multitude of petty insults, nasty carping; and sometimes, a truly "endless number of humiliations" unfolded before the poet.
Many of Dizhur's poems were unpublished in the Soviet Union. She was denounced so much for her poetry and lived seven years in Yurmala as a refusnik, a person denied an exit visa. She was finally allowed to emigrate to the U.S. in 1987, at the age of 84.
I would like to share some of her poems which were translated in English with you all...

From the Notebook - URBAN DESERT
Lie for now, notebook, deep inside the desk;
Lie pretend to be without tongue.
My journey is long -
I am not looking for a short one.
So keep safe my truthful voice!

In a large universe
a small world.
Not a room; just a corner.
A book by the window, a view of half-sky,
A crust of bread, a glass of wine
And solitude. Such is the lot
Of someone who keeps to himself.

But this is a fate I do not fear.
Another stands with an outstretched hand
And from my window, a view of half-sky,
bread, a book and a glass of wine.
And all of the universe moves towards me.

There is a saying in Tamil..."Yaam petra inbam, peruga ivvaiyagam!" meaning...
"Sharing the happiness I experienced, with the Universe!"

Don't misinterpret Nature's art !!


Autumn is here...
you might just mistake this piece of Naure's art for a disastrous forest fire!!
Take some time out and enjoy the art...instead of sitting amidst four walls of your house or office!!
and for the humans who have evergreen trees around them...well, i will fill you in with the moments as much as i can!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

GARBAGE Dreams - Short film!



Egypt’s resident garbage recyclers, the Zaballeen, struggle as Cairo modernizes its waste disposal system.

Hurray!! Am Back!!!!!

hello my dear friends...i know it has been a lonnnnngggggg time...well, i was not gone completely...i kept you all in my thoughts...while still feeding my procrastination and laziness...and then finally got tired of it...and here i am!
You must be wondering what I have been doing for all this time?
I was busy doing all these...
Reading and writing Shayari (which means poetry in Hindi)
Watching a lot of movies...
Thinking endless thoughtless repeatedly...
Enjoying the Sunset and the river view...
Hiking...
Climbing mountains...
Trying some adventure sports...
and lots more...
but i have missed coming to this space...
and now that i am back...i promise to share a lot more...a lot more than i did before!!!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Wait No More - New but Old Short Film

Well, in spite of the film's theme, we've waited too long to put this up on Youtube. But never mind. This is a short film that we shot towards the end of 2006(actually around the end of October) and finished it too. It didn't really make the festival circuit but it's kind of a little pet project just for kicks.
The lead actress is Ragini Parmar who I'm sure you'd admit is a little too cute. She was tireless in her efforts, we made her walk like a million times across the streets. The peanut peddler is Patrick Fernicola who kinda fit the role like a lock and key. We shot the film in one day from 5:30 a.m till 4:30p.m in Hoboken. It was freakin' cold. Cute little city(for non-north-east folks) along the Hudson, kinda a substitute for NYC I must say, at least for this theme.
Enjoy!
Logline
Wait no more is about you and your psyche and how your "worldly self" ignores the simple intentions of the "self within". If you don't take chances with the self within, what would be at stake? Your raison d'etre or life itself?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Wings of Evolution - Post-Film Screening

Wow, this has gotta be the longest break in our blog. Surprising none of us had the time and energy or even the slightest inclination of writing something.
But hey, here it is finally, after our screening at the South Asian International Film Festival 2007.
"Wings of Evolution" screened on October 6th, 2006 at 2:30p.m at the Rubin Museum of Art, NYC. Before the screening we had a filmmakers lunch at Rialto's, NYC - just a networking event I'd say. Nothing extraordinary but we met a few of the directors/producers who were mostly from other states. We also met filmmakers from the Pune film institute.
Anyway, as for the screening itself, we were standing outside the theater and till about 2:20p.m or so, we hardly had people coming in. Just 1 or 2. But by 2:30, the theater had about 35-40 people were sitting in. Not a bad number I'd say but not the best either.
Many of our friends, that is, some of you readers - didn't or couldn't turn up because of excuses, excuses - and we are supposed to understand. Hmmphh!
Ok anyways, we got some good response/feedback from the audience. Also, some suggestions as to what could be done to improve. We have someone who's interested in showing the film to a school audience in NY. So we are working on it. Hopefully sometime early next year.
The above is a pic of the post-screening discussion moderated by Richa from the SAIFF staff.
Alright then, will get back on the other sundry news soon. Watch out!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Freedom through Art

This is one of the photographs in Flickr, by Erik, who is one of the many photographers who are expressing their message for peace and freedom under the 'Free Burma' Photo campaign.
" NOTE: Red is the color representative of the Monks in Burma who are fighting with their lives against the military Junta."
It's so inspiring to see so many people from different parts of the world speak up against violence and suppression. For more info about the campaign for Freeing Burma, check this out.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Question I posted on Dropping Knowledge...

What would happen if everyone in the world were paid equally for any job they did? Would that put Money and equality in place??

I think if all were paid the same for any profession, job, there would be freedom to do whatever you wanted to do, whatever you were interested in doing. However, it might also stifle seeking a higher potential and a higher reward. As far as making all peoples equal, I don't think that would happen until societal groups cease thinking they are better than another group. The Human Being is very judgmental still.

by marianne

You make a good point but you also need to consider that many people will simply not work if they get paid the same. There would be less motivation to be great as you pointed out but there is also much less motivation to at least be average. Often this is what destroys communism that refuse to force citizens to work. This makes communisms either doomed or a society of forced labor.

by visionofuture


Monday, September 24, 2007

Wings of Evolution - World Premiere

Hi folks,
As some of you may know, Wings of Evolution is World Premiering at the South Asian International Film Festival 2007 on October 6th, 2007, which is a Saturday at 2:30 p.m under the Doc'Film Series 3. Do try to attend the screening and let us know what your thoughts are.

Just a little information about the production and the team.
This is the second feature-length documentary project by the Accessible Horizon Films team, the first one being Men of Burden - Pedaling Towards a Horizon. The film was finished in June 2007 and has just started going the festival route. This is way different from Men of Burden, not only in terms of theme, but also in style and tone - primarily focusing on children and the educational system in India and even focuses on global culture and understanding.
Directed by Ramesh Mourthy & Raghu Jeganathan, Edited by Kousalya Jeganathan and Mohandass Radhakrishnan, Produced under the Accessible Horizon Films banner with excellent music by Composer Srikanth Devarajan of Studio 1234, the film has come a long way from production in Dec.2006. Check out for more updates soon.

Friday, September 21, 2007

CHILD LABOR -The fight to end slavery today!

Courtesy: DroppingKnowledge.org
Hazardous working conditions and long hours is an everyday reality for 14 percent of the world’s children. Using children for cheap labor is a common practice in many countries. Some of these children have never attended school or dropped out after a few years, and many are forced to work in the sex industry.
Believing that every child has the right to education and playtime, thousands of people from every corner of the world marched together to say no to child labor in 1998 under the banner of “Global March Against Child Labour”. The international community responded by Click here for more...

Monday, September 17, 2007

Can your Film change the World??? PANGEA DAY!

Mountaintop Removal movie!

Please check this movie from ILOVEMOUNTAINS.ORG

Mountaintop Removal or Life-on-Earth Removal???


Mountaintop removal mining (MTR) is a form of coal mining in which up to 1,000 vertical feet of a mountain are blasted away to get to the thin coal seams underneath. MTR requires that the targeted land be clear-cut and then blasted by heavy use of explosives. The debris created is typically scraped into the adjacent river valleys in what is called a valley fill. Most mountaintop removal for more click here to wikipedia.org
Mountaintop mining is basically high-altitude strip mining. Enormous machines scrape away the ridges to get at the coal seams below. The residual rock and dirt are then dumped or carted down the mountainside into nearby valleys and streams. By one estimate, this serial decapitation of Appalachia’s coal-rich hills has already buried 1,200 miles of streams while damaging hundreds of square miles of forests. for more click here...
What are we waiting for?? When there are so many things we can try and stop...
Try to figure out what and where your purpose in this lifetime is...and then act accordingly...please help save the planet and its beings in some way or the other...make a difference somewhere!!
For other resources on Mountaintop Removal and how to take action...
http://www.stopmountaintopremoval.org/
http://www.blackdiamondsmovie.com/
http://www.ilovemountains.org/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mountaintop_removal_mining

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Stories from Peace Tree Spirit Blog !!

These stories are from kids who participated in the WWPCS and their blog site called PEACE TREE SPIRIT...

Story 1:
Hello! Ni Hao! Today I want to share a story I experienced in China when I was a little girl.
Unfortunately, there is a long history between Japan and China, and many older generations don’t like Japan. Even the smallest part of it.When I was in China, I was a little angry after I heard about Japan. I still remember that scary unbelievable moment.
“What are you folding, Kalin?” Asked my old homeroom teacher. “A paper crane from Japan. It represents peace, right?” My teacher’s face suddenly looked very angry. She pushed my hands away...
for more click here http://peacetreespirit.blogspot.com/2007/03/blog-post.html

Story:2
Hello, my name is Israa. I’m from Palestine. I like Canada very much because there is a lot o fighting in Palestine. Everyday, I was scared to live in Palestine. I couldn’t go outside to play, I couldn’t walk on the street because I would always be afraid. I would be killed. But here in Canada, everyone is free and...
for more click here Canada Means PEACE

Story:3
Hi, salaam alaykom everybody. My name is Anas, I’m from Palestine. I came to Canada on June 5th, 2006.
When I was in Palestine, one day my friend told me: “Come with me to write on the wall about Israeli soldiers. But I refused because I didn’t think it was a good idea. I remember when...
For more click here From Palestine to Canada

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Francis Bacon (1561- 1626)

I was reading this book called ESSENTIALS OF PHILOSOPHY by James Mannion and I wanted to share this topic about Francis Bacon.
Francis Bacon was a British politician and businessman who took a scientific approach to philosophy. He studied the world as an empirical observer would and attempted to avoid bringing his preconceptions and prejudices into the proceedings.
Bacon proposed that, in order to truly understand the world, we must first be aware of the various obstacles and distractions that prevent us from seeing things clearly. He identified these impediments as IDOLS.
IDOLS OF THE TRIBE
This refers to the sense of self-importance that people have about their place in the grand design of things and their penchant to take at face value the observations of our senses. In other words, everything may not be what it appears to be, and we should be aware of that.
IDOLS OF THE CAVE
This speaks about our tendencies to make generalizations about the world at large based on our limited experience in our little corner of the world. Put in simple terms, never assume anything.
IDOLS OF THE MARKETPLACE
This deals with the imperfections of language as a means of communication. By attempting to understand the wonders around us and describing them via the limits of language, we do not do them justice nor are we fully able to comprehend them.
IDOLS OF THE THEATER
These are the inherent flaws of Philosophy itself. Great thinkers devise and put forth lofty notions about things, but these are beliefs built on the shaky foundation of our own faulty perceptions.
He also said that once we notice the effects that these Idols have on upon us, we will be in a position to avoid them, and our knowledge of nature will accordingly improve.
For more Click here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Bacon

There arise a lot of questions in my mind when I think about all this...What then is truth?? What do we believe?? Isn't there something called Instincts that drive us?? Well, if we start to doubt everything, then won't we be at the edge of insanity?? Isn't there a reason why things happen around us and to us in a specific way?? I can agree about prejudices and preconceptions...but whatever we know, we know from this world around us right?? And whatever we perceive is a creative manipulation of whatever was already there right??
or..or maybe Truth is Intangible...or the fact that Truth is Intangible is Tangible...??

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

COMMUNITY is the only Solution!

The Community Service newsletter, in its many permutations – Community Service News, Community Comments, and now New Solutions – has been a voice for the community movement for the past 60 years. Within its archives, one will find notes on the Agrarian, Civil Rights, Environmental, Agricultural and Peak Oil movements, among others. The newsletters have been written by a diverse and influential group – always well-informed and relevant. Enjoy.
THE PROBLEM???
THE SOLUTION!!!
THE NEW SOLUTION REPORTS...
TALKS AND PRESENTATIONS...
RESOURCES!

The More Than Warmth quilt project !

More than Warmth is an educational project for students of all ages to learn about world cultures. It fosters understanding, knowledge and compassion among cultures through nonviolent, nonpolitical, and nonreligious means.
They create a forum allowing American students a place to process international events. While helping to create a growing awareness of world cultures, students also learn about regions of strife and conflict in the world. More Than Warmth offers students a chance to effect positive change in their world.
For more click here...
This is so encouraging for kids all over the world and is similar to our World Wide Post Card Sharing project where children from all over the world share their art, creativity, love and time for kids all over the world...See how many humans are coming together to unite the world!
I am so inspired...our children of today, all over the world, will bring the world together...!
Picture Courtesy: MORETHANWARMTH

Friday, August 31, 2007

CALVIN and HOBBES!!


Two contemporary gurus, Calvin and Hobbes, sum up our situation:

Hobbes: Whatcha doin?

Calvin: Getting rich!!!

Hobbes: Really?

Calvin: Yep. I'm writing a self-help book! There's a huge market for this stuff. First, you convince people there's something wrong with them. That's easy, because advertising has already conditioned people to feel insecure about their weight, looks, social status, sex appeal, and so on. Next, you convince them that the problem is not their fault and that they're victims of larger forces. That's easy, because it's what people believe anyway. Nobody wants to be responsible for his own situation. Finally, you convince them that with your advice and encouragement, they can conquer their problem and be happy!

Hobbes: Ingenious. What problem will you help people solve?

Calvin: Their addiction to self-help books! My book is called, "Shut Up and Stop Whining: How to Do Something with Your Life besides Think About Yourself."

Hobbes: You should probably wait for the advance before you buy anything.

Calvin: The trouble is, if my program works, I won't be able to write a sequel.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calvin_and_Hobbes

The broad themes of the strip deal with Calvin's flights of fantasy, his friendship with Hobbes, his misadventures, his views on a diverse range of political and cultural issues and his relationships and interactions with his parents, classmates, educators, and other members of society.

If you have not read Calvin and Hobbes...It is never too late!!!

How FBI can wiretap - Eavesdrop your communications

Documents recently declassified under the Freedom of Information Act indicate that the FBI has constructed a point-and-click surveillance system capable of instantaneously tapping into almost any communications device. The Digital Collection System Network (DCSNet) links FBI wiretapping stations to switches run by landline operators, Internet-telephony providers, and cellular companies. The system consists of software that captures, filters, and stores phone numbers, calls, and text messages, and directly connects FBI wiretapping rooms throughout the nation to a wide-ranging private communications network. The outposts are connected via a private, encrypted backbone that is independent of the Internet and is run by Sprint for the government. Telecoms' installation of telephone-switching gear that meets wiretapping standards was mandated in 1994 with the passage of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), thus giving the FBI the ability to log directly into the telecom's network. CALEA's coverage was recently extended to require broadband ISPs and certain VoIP companies to enable their networks for federal wiretapping. Since telecoms became more wiretap-friendly, the volume of criminal wiretaps rose 60 percent from 1,150 to 1,839 in the past 10 years, and in 2005 92 percent of those wiretaps targeted cell phones, according to a 2006 report. CALEA wiretaps and the processing of all calls collected by DCSNet have racked up substantial costs, and security experts are worried that the system introduces new vulnerabilities to the telecommunications network. The declassified documents point to numerous flaws in DCSNet that Columbia University computer science professor Steven Bellovin finds appalling, especially because they indicate the FBI is ignorant of inside threats. "The underlying problem isn't so much the weaknesses here, as the FBI attitude towards security," he says.

For more information visit
Source URL http://www.wired.com/politics/security/news/2007/08/wiretap

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Firearms - America's Internal Chaos?

Which came first? Is this a case of the chicken/egg scenario? Why does American society carry a lot of guns? Have the number of guns increased because of crime rates OR have crime rates led to the increase in the number of guns? 90 guns per 100 people is not just another yawnable statistic....according to the Small Arms Survey 2007 by the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International Studies "published in Yahoo".
GENEVA (Reuters) - The United States has 90 guns for every 100 citizens, making it the most heavily armed society in the world, a report released on Tuesday said.U.S. citizens own 270 million of the world's 875 million known firearms, according to the Small Arms Survey 2007 by the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International Studies.About 4.5 million of the 8 million new guns manufactured worldwide each year are purchased in the United States, it said."There is roughly one firearm for every seven people worldwide. Without the United States, though, this drops to about one firearm per 10 people," it said.
This seems like a necessity based on seemingly false dangers and the insecurity and fear created in people's minds. Well, but isn't American society the land of the free, where dreams are fulfilled?
Gun control laws have really gone out of control or have they. What is the solution for this? To find a solution, there has to be a cause. Seems like the mindset is clearly an-eye-for-an-eye approach. So basically this is about consciousness and how we have to adapt ourselves to the increasingly chaotic society. If a society has to advance in all ways, there has to be more tolerance, understanding and respect for the fellow human being. This statistic indicates that people wouldn't hesitate to pull the trigger if there is something even remotely indicative of danger. Who do we blame? The Govt or the people?
(Pic Courtesy - Neaca)

What is an Almudo???

An Almudo is a young boy (generally aged 8 to 15) He lives in a large city in a poor West African country. He is dressed in ragged shorts and a T-shirt, most likely many sizes too large. He is barefoot with one infected toe. The city streets are hard on toes. At night he sleeps on the street and wakes at dawn to begin the day begging for his breakfast.

Generally he is kindly treated in the streets and is given food enough to survive, but his health suffers. He is underweight and under-sized for his age and has intestinal parasites and skin problems such as scabies and ringworm. When he has more serious diseases such as malaria and schistosomiasis, they remain untreated. More...

And You would think Almudo is some kind of.....??

Please Do anything to help!!


Conversation b/n two humans in our Current System...

From our friend Packiyanath, Chennai, India.
Since I'm working in Shifts, our company provides me Cab for pickup from house and also drops me back.
Today morning when I was traveling in the Cab, the cabdriver and myself struck into a discussion about Money-Rich People-And how people are suffering. The discussion started when we saw a lady carrying a small kid (probably 6 months old) in a traffic signal today. You know Chennai... It was so hot outside, and that lady was carrying that kid..exposed to the hot sun and was asking money to every person on the signal. And no one was responding to her. Even though it was very obvious that the lady was not the kid's mother(Usually that's the case...you know that it happens here)
One thing that immediately struck us was 'what did the KID do to suffer like this?'
and...this is where we started talking about Money. There are so many people who have so much money and are not ready to come out and do something to the people around them who need it. We were talking about us (Software Engineers Job...where just for money we spoil everything... life, family, health)...and all.
It is the invention of Rupees and Coins; which made everything to change. That is where all discrimination and distinction between rich and poor, Being greedy all those things came up. We started talking about a world which didn't have currencies. No Dollars, Rupees..nothing. In actual if you see that was how it was, earlier in our olden days when kings used to rule the earth. Everything was just one Currency...Gold Coins. No 100Rs. 500Rs. or 100$. But now everything has changed.
Then suddenly the cab driver told me something.... that literally shocked me, to see how much he was affected because of money for which everyone of us are behind it and which made him think so much and ...
He told :
"Sir... there is only one way to get all the money which these rich people, politicians etc are having illegally(Black Money). Indian Government has to announce publicly, "From so and so date to so and so date, we are making all the current India currencies(Notes) invalid and we are going to change them to a different type of Currencies -No worries .... with the same value(New appearance or something like that)." Every one who is maintaining all this black money have to come out to change their currencies/money they are having and then they will be now accountable to show how they got so much money." But they cant do it and probably at least at that point they may give all the black money they have to the poor.
I could see tears in his eyes. He told something after that...he told: Even then, these filthy rich people wont give the money to the poor...they will dump it or burn it.".
Suddenly the Cab stopped and our discussion stopped and I saw I was before my office building. The Cab Driver smiled, said "Good Day" and left. I had to get down and go into office again "for the sake of money". The whole day I was thinking about this.
I really dont know... my mind was so blank.

Photography - Elements- Water!




Photography - Elements- Fire!



Photography - Elements- SKy!






Monday, August 27, 2007

WORLD STREET CHILDREN NEWS...

What can i say about this?? Action has to be taken...by all of us, COLLECTIVELY!!
It is so depressing that there are so many of our children on the streets...I recently came across this blog where there is so much information about children who are on the streets from various countries...I could not believe my eyes when I saw the list of countries with such children...This blog has all the possible news about street children from all over the world and it has been collected with utmost responsibility for whoever wants to research or help these children..take a moment and ask yourself this question...
Isn't this our collective responsibility??
please take action in whatever way you can...and please help spread the word...
Streetkidsnews

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Events of postcard sharing in NY,NJ...


Dear wonderful people...for the past two days, i have been doing the postcard painting with a few kids at the comfort of their homes because they were so excited about the WWPCS
which we conducted and wrote about it in our kids blogspot called Children of the World Unite
Two of them Dani and Ally at New York and three kids Alec, James and Alen from New Jersey...It was such an inspiring experience for me to have seen these kids draw and paint for kids in other parts of the world...
So, parents or anyone who knows kids who will be interested in doing this in your house can contact us at vconverge@gmail.com and we will make sure your kid connects with another child in a different part of the world...
We are here to connect kids..and bring them all together...their innocent yet powerful minds which can perceive the greatest of truths with utmost simplicity...
CHILDREN OF THE WORLD, UNITE!!

Short films from Pangea.org

Hey everybody..there is a list of movies in the Pangeaday.org website...enjoy and have fun watching them...I have watched only 2 of them..we intend to submit our shorts too...
to view the movies CLICK HERE...
and go to the sample films page...
ENJOYYYYYYY....and submit your own film if you have something interesting to share with the world...

WINGS OF EVOLUTION - TRAILER!!

Shangai Superkids Empowerment Program...

I met these two wonderful humans Janet Fink and Kathy Miller of Shanghai Superkids
who have unconditional love in their hearts for the children of the world...and believe whole heartedly that a family is not only formed from blood ties...but also from the heart...from the love that we have for the beings around us...and once we realize this, there is boundless happiness for us to experience from the magnificent universe...
Jeanie's Story... By Janet & Stephen Fink
In February 2005, we traveled with our son to Shanghai to adopt our daughter, Jeannie. Jeannie was a special needs orphan living at the Shanghai Children's Home (SCH), one of China's nicest and largest special needs orphanages. Jeannie was placed in SCH at age three months because her eyes flickered rapidly and crossed (her eyes are now straight). Jeannie’s special needs status made her difficult to place for adoption, and we received her referral when she was almost two years old.On February 16th we went to SCH to take Jeannie home. As we entered her nursery...for more click here...
Shanghai Superkids is a non-profit organization that sends therapists and volunteers to Shanghai, China to work in the Shanghai Children's Home (SCH). Our therapists and volunteers—specializing in pediatric physical, occupational, speech, and play therapy—spend approximately one week at the orphanage working directly with the children and their caregivers. Their main purpose is to train caregivers to incorporate easy, fun therapy exercises into the daily orphanage routine. With the use of specialized therapy toys, we can teach caregivers how to strengthen children's gross and fine motor muscles as well as improve their sensory integration. Our goal is to make exercise rewarding for both child and caregiver!
For more click here
We wish them good luck with all their genuine efforts and hope that the Universe will find a way to help them through this...If anyone wants to help they can always contact Janet Fink...

PANGEA - SUPERCONTINENT!!!


Pangea our super continent and PANGEADAY....makes the senses and the spirit feel so good!!
A friend of mine recently sent me this wonderful link and told me about Pangeaday...
Let me tell you all about the chain of events that the universe put in front of me...in the past 3 days...
on August 22nd we went to rent a foreign film from a rental store called Blockbuster...and rented this movie called PARADISE NOW....
On August 23rd, i had some work in Pleasantville and a friend told me about this theater called Jacob Burns and she said that we should submit our film to them...
On August 23rd evening when I came back home, I saw this email from a friend telling me about the PangeaDay...
When i was watching the trailer about Pangea Day, I saw this presentation of Jehane Noujaim
and she mentioned about Paradise Now...and the Jacob Burns theater was mentioned it...PANGEA DAY...what can i say about it!!!
The reason all this happened...for us to come together...all of humanity...on one ground..for one cause...for Peace...
It is so overwhelming to see how many souls are in the path towards oneness and Peace...
take time to go through the website...and be a part of the PANGEA DAY!!!
Picture Courtesy: http://www.ig.utexas.edu/research/projects/plates/images/pangea.jpg


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

FRANCE-wwpcs!!

Hey guys! We just got the cards from the kids in France...As you all know this could not have been possible without our dear friend and teacher Lalitakumari and her wonderful school kids!
Check out the beautiful postcards at the WORLDKIDSUNITE Blogspot...we have not uploaded all the postcards...we will upload it soon and post the link so you all can enjoy the kids' artwork....!!
We are so glad that WWPCS is spreading its wings...Come join us!
You can view the initial footage from here...